by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
As Affliction picks up steam heading into its Oct. 11 Las Vegas debut, the promotion continues to tweak things its roster, television deals and most recently their broadcast team as well.
Out is the initial pay-per-view broadcast group of Jay Glazer, Frank Trigg and “Big” John McCarthy; in is the familiar former International Fight League team of Kenny Rice, Ron Kruck and MMA living legend Bas “El Guapo” Rutten.
For Rutten, it represents the continuation of a commentary career that has spanned much of this decade and multiple promotions, from Pride Fighting Championships to King of the Cage, and most recently the aforementioned IFL and Dream.
“It’s great to be here on American soil to do a big event like Affliction, which did a great first show, and I think the organization can really do it, can really make it,” exclaimed Rutten of his new gig.
“Every company thus far has really tried to make it where the UFC is, and Affliction can be right there. It’s going to be good for the fighters, the fans, for everybody.”
The IFL’s broadcast team joining Affliction follows the signing of many of the IFL’s fighters to the card, such as Chris Horodecki and former titleholders Roy Nelson, Jay Hieron and Vladimir Matyushenko.
“I just did an interview where they said the IFL was a failure and put a real negative spin on it, and I said, ‘No guys, it was not.’ If you look at the IFL fighters, they’re signing with really big companies; with the UFC, WEC and Affliction,” commented Rutten.
“It means that the IFL just had really good talent. So, yeah of course, this is great to be seeing them and doing commentary for them like I did in the IFL.”
As far as the upcoming Oct. 11 Affliction card, he is extremely excited for the entire line-up, and is especially anticipating the evening’s main event pitting two of the top heavyweights in the world, Josh Barnett and Andrei Arlovski.
“Josh Barnett, I’ve always said, is one of the toughest guys there is,” he stated. “I think he is the guy with the huge chance to beat Fedor Emelianenko. But, Andrei Arlovski coming in like he did last time, with flying knees, high kicks; he was on fire.
“I think striking-wise they are pretty evened up; maybe the boxing from Arlovski is a little bit better. That’s why I think Josh is going to set up the takedown, and once it gets to the ground, he’s going to go for any submission like (Antonio Rodrigo) Nogueira, but add some leg locks there.”
According to Rutten, he intends on being the same El Guapo personality that fans have come to enjoy from his commentating over the last several years, but with added emphasis to the technical side of things.
“I’m pretty good at (taking it) if there’s a reason why Bas shouldn’t do this or that, if it’s true and someone didn’t just make it up,” he said. “I think the fans like what I’ve been doing thus far, so I think it shouldn’t change.
“It’s like when you go to a concert of a band and people can’t follow along any more because they totally changed the song; they don’t want that. I think, right now, things are good, but I am going to try to go a little more in-depth for the people that may be tuning in for the first time and give them a little more insight to what’s going on.”
Prior to Affliction, Rutten remains one of the busiest men in MMA. Along with his broadcast duties with Dream, he continues to co-host the “Inside MMA” television series on Mark Cuban’s HDNet, promoting his upcoming BAS Stand and reality series, on top of training Kimbo Slice for his upcoming showdown with fellow MMA legend Ken Shamrock on Oct. 4 in EliteXC.
Never one to be out of the game for too long, Bas Rutten will make his pay-per-view broadcast return with Affliction on Oct. 11 from Las Vegas, and as he sees it, it’s one show fans can ill afford to miss.
“You guys check it out,” he concluded. “Like last time, they have an unbelievable card, and this one is going to be the same.
“It’s going to be an unbelievable show, a great production with great fights, and what more can you say? Just watch it.”